Trellis Bay Full Moon Party
Beef Island’s Trellis Bay is an artsy and hip place to be every day of the year, but on full moons its funky atmosphere boils over at the Trellis Bay Full Moon Party, a joint production of Aragorn’s Studio (284/495-1849) and the Trellis Bay Cybercafé (284/495-2447). The parties may share a name with Bomba’s full moon parties on the west end of the island, but the similarities end there. Trellis Bay’s fetes feature local musicians, a top-notch barbecue buffet, stilt walkers, and local artist Aragorn Dick-Read’s flaming fireballs.
The parties are a good place to sample Tortola’s traditional music form, scratch-band music called fungi. Entertainment also often includes mocko jumbies, colorful stilt-walking characters that perform impressive moves at heights of up to 10 feet.
Aragorn’s fireballs are a story unto themselves. Spherical metal sculptures about five feet in diameter, the fireballs are stuffed with flammable material, fastened on stands over the water, and lit afire. The effect is mesmerizing; flames dance over the crystal water, allowing glimpses at the balls’ intricate carved designs.
The fireballs have a checkered past. Aragorn engaged in a very public dispute with the island’s Conservation and Fisheries Department in 2004 and 2005 over whether he had the required permission to station them on the seabed. (Local law states that landownership ends at the high water mark; the seabed is controlled by the government). At the height of the dispute, the fireballs were confiscated and locked up at the East End Police Station. The matter seems to have been resolved for the time being.
If your visit to Tortola does not include a full moon, check out what else is happening at Trellis Bay. The businesses there have plans to expand their entertainment offerings in the near future. Trellis Bay also throws a great New Year’s Eve bash.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition